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Top athletes swap skills at PBR Sports Performance Center

Derek Kolbaba
Posted at 11:07 PM, Oct 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-14 01:07:38-04

PUEBLO — In the spirit of competition, a little fun was had in at the PBR Sports Performance Center in downtown Pueblo Tuesday afternoon.

Two of their respective sports best, getting a taste of a different type of tough through various drills and instruction.

"It's a pretty awesome opportunity, taking in everything I can learn and try and put it to my craft," Kolbaba said.

UFC fighter and Colorado Springs native Raquel Pennington spent the day showing Professional Bull Rider's No. 11 competitor, Derek Kolbaba, that life in the Octagon is no bull.

"It's all learning at the job but I think that's what makes it so much fun when you have the right people to teach you from the ground up," Kolbaba said.

There were plenty of lessons learned on the day, like jumping onto the back of a 1,500 lb. bull isn't exactly easy. A notion the Harrison high school graduate learned first-hand.

"I think it was a little nerve-wracking, kind of like the adrenaline when you go out into the Octagon," Pennington said. "I'll stick to the Octagon, the idea of getting popped around, spinning in circles, and possibly getting thrown across. I'll pass and let someone else try and throw me around."

The sharing of ideas between top competitors is a welcomed practice at the PBR Sports Performance Center.

"Everything kind of correlates here so there are a lot of things that can benefit me being a professional fighter," Pennington said.

With athletes from various sports coming together, there's no shortage of advice and expertise on how to find the "competitive edge" on a daily basis.

"To be able to have a top-ranked bull rider and UFC professional fighter is great," Executive Director Antwon Burton said. "To be able to show that level of professionalism and attention to detail. I think it speaks volumes to what we're doing here at the SPC."